BEST WESTERN Empire Palace
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... infamous Orient Express. Agatha Christie stayed here while she wrote "Murder on the Orient Express." So did Mata Hari, the Duke of Windsor, President Tito, and Jackie Kennedy. We happened there right at the hour when they allow visitors to tour certain sections with memorabilia. With a personal escort and narration by one of the valets standing out front. That was a fun surprise and hadn't even been on our planned list of things to see. Just killing time while waiting ...
... of Asia, on the opposite bank, which is really very small.
On the way back the boat hugged the Asian side where lots of Turks obviously have some very up market houses.
After a really nice couple of hours trip we walked back up the hill to discover some late lunch. On the way we stumbled into the Spice Bazar, though there was quite a lot more than just spices. No wonder some of the Turks are, lets say rotund, since the candied fruits and sweets ...
... until 1453, with the exception of the years 1204-1261.
Roman Catholic Cathedral
From 1204-1261 the building served as a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire.
In 1453 the building was converted into a mosque, and continued to serve that purpose until 1935, when it was opened as a museum.
... marble, columns, viewing galleries, ornate furniture and stunning Turkish carpets. It is beautifully maintained and the tour was really interesting and informative. However, it is hardly surprising that in the twentieth century this system was outdated and Ataturk managed to establish the Republic of Turkey. Naturally, we also spent a bit more time wandering in the markets and that is where we saw the mobile ...
... life of the city. As a result there are still several beautiful, detailed mosaics and frescoes depicting Jesus or the Virgin Mary with baby on the walls and ceilings. I believe these were covered over in a form of plaster by the Muslims, which inadvertently preserved them, enabling them to be displayed today. The walls and ceilings were also covered with other beautiful mosaics and frescoes and stunning decoration.
We did a tour of the Bosphorus aboard a ferry. From ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews BEST WESTERN Empire Palace Istanbul
Decent hotel if you get it cheap...
My wife and I stayed over at the Empire Palace over Christmas 2005. We got a really good rate on Expedia for three nights that came out to about $63/night, taxes included. For that price, during a holiday season, it was a good deal. The hotel was comfortable enough, clean, and within walking distance to the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, etc... The breakfast buffet was standard Turkish breakfast - simits and breads, boiled eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, some tasteless sausages, jams and tea/coffee. Hotel staff was very pleasant. My only complaint was that the walls are kind of thin, so you can hear any noise being made in the hallways and stairs. The room was tiny, but quaint. I wouldn't mind staying there again.
Nice hotel within walking distance to major attractions
The staff is excellent. They were very friendly and extremely helpful. I had a problem with my shower, and they moved me to another room. When I wanted to come back the next week to stay an extra night, the hotel owner met with me and accommodated my request.
The rooms are adequate and the breakfast was good. The terrace restaurant offers a view of Topkapi palace. The hotel offers free internet connection for which they provide you with a cable.
You can walk to all of the major attractions in this part of town including Aya Sofia, the Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, the Archeological Museums, the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Bazaar, and Galata Bridge. With the exception of the Spice Bazaar and the Galata Bridge, these walks will include hills.
The hotel is a bit difficult to get to because of one-way streets and Istanbul traffic congestion. Both taxis that I took from the airport couldn't find it. One taxi let me out a block away and the other finally got directions from the hotel. If you come from the airport, have the taxi take you through Sultanahmet to get to the hotel.
The hotel is also a bit noisy. It is easy to hear people in the halls.
We have just arrived back from the Empire Palace and we found it o.k apart from the noisy air-con (which didnt seem to be working too well ) the noise from other guests and the busy tram liine directly below. The photo's are pretty accurate and the hotel is very clean. Breakfast was nice with plenty of choice and nice coffee too. I would stay there again but would ask for a quiet room.
The Empire Palace Hotel is managed by the same management as for the Amber hotel in Istanbul.
We booked 3 nights 2 rooms and got only one night. After that we were shipped to the Amber Hotel. "Same central location and even better than this hotel" said the front desk employee. Don't believe that for even a second please! We got the impression they try to rebook as many guests as possible to their second hotel (which is terrible by the way, lousy neighbourhood, even more noisy, very small rooms, terrible breakfast and not clean).
At the Empire Palace it is very noisy. One of our rooms had a connecting door to an other room. We could hear everything that was said and done next door....
The terrace on the highest floor is highly overrated. The view is bad as you mostly see the concrete walls and waste bins of all houses around the hotel.
In short: watch your money and your reservation, or even better just look for another hotel in Istanbul.
Traveled alone..enjoyed my stay
I traveled to Istanbul late February and really enjoyed the city and my stay at the Empire Palace. The hotel is in a great location. I took the subway then the light tram from the airport and the hotel was about a minutes walk from Sirkeci station. I didn't really know what to expect since I got the room at such a steal but was pleasantly surprised by the decor and ambiance. The complimentary breafast was not extensive but good and is served on the rooftop - not much of a view but appreciate the effort. This is a boutique hotel so don't expect palatial guest rooms but the rooms are really very charming, clean, neat and traditionally decorated. I did have one slight disagreement with the attendant at the front desk over his on the spot currency conversion (I wanted to take a tour and had to pay in Euros and he gave me a ridiculous conversion of Euros to Lira!) The hotel is within a short walking distance of the most popular attractions in Sultanahmet so you don't even need to take the trams to see most of the sites.
Nothing special - watch out for the exchange rate scam!
Just returned on Sunday after 2 nights at Empire Palace. Experience as follows - we'd been travelling all evening from Bodrum and arrived at 10:30pm. First problem - Hotel was overbooked and we would have to transfer somewhere else. We'd booked and paid in full in January, how come it was overbooked in March? That problem disappeared after a few seconds discussion. We were shown to our room, the smallest in the hotel, from the fire exit diagram, and sneaky look thru open doors next morning! There was hardly enough room for our bags. Second Problem - We booked a 1 day tour for the next day 60 Euros, went to pay in YTL, there was a sign in reception that exchange rate was 1.50 YTL = 1Euro, not when you want to pay for any in-house services - it becomes 1.65 or worse??? Queried guy on front desk and it was commission. No amount of arguing would get a better rate. Beware - this happened for meals in the restaurant, but it was worse, when I checked out it turned out the rate was YTL1.75 = 1 Euro??? Because I hadn't noticed in the restaurant nothing could be done. Breakfast was OK, short supply of the basics at 8:30am, they had run out of some bread rolls, after asking 2 were found in the kitchen. In summary, hotel location good, view from restaurant was very good especially at night, easy to get to/from the historical sites, easy access from airport on Metro and Tram system, but watch out for the exchange rate rip off and Manhatten price of drinks!
We checked in at night and the man at the reception wanted our both Identity cards. We gave him both, but he didn't want to give them back immediately and said, that we would get them back the next day. So far so good. The room was OK, but the bath wasn't cleaned well. The next day, at 9.45 am we wanted to have breakfast (8-10.30). But no chance: the buffet was almost empty, we just got some warm Instant-Coffee and 2 pieces of tomatoes. No cheese, no sausage just a few 1h-cooked-eggs. The "nostalgic Restaurant" was just a cold room with a fantastic view on many satellite dishes... The waiter didn't fill up any plate. We stayed in that Hotel for 5 days and couldn't enjoy the city. Every taxi-driver tried to outsmart us with the price (1,55 € = 1 000 000 YTL) and so Istanbul was a big desaster. With all the trouble, we forgot to ask for our Identity cards. Now we are back and today I wanted to fly to Rome and standing at the counter to check in I remembered, that my Identity card is still in Istanbul. So I missed that flight... I hope we will get now our IDs back...
Parents with Children be aware: There is a 24-hour Free-porn-channel on TV in every room!!!! By the way: The in-house turkish bath costs you 20 € per Perseon per day. Just don't book that Hotel!
Definitely a dream! beautiful
Definitely a dream! beautiful
My girl friend and I stayed here this past weekend for two nights. Four words, Amazing Hotel and perfect location. The staff was extremely courteous. Check in literally took us 3 minutes. The hotel room was everything we imagined.. The first words to come out of our mouths were WOW!.. very modern and extremely comfortable.. The room was extremely clean and the the bathroom had great products. This is the hotel of choice going forward. Highly recommended
Do NOT stay here!
Stayed there two nights with two friends. The room, which we booked on hotels, had two twin beds, so we asked for a cot. The RUDE person at the reception desk said that would be 30 euro extra per night! Mind you, the room was teeny-tiny. He got snooty with us and he seemed to have a real beef with the rate we got with hotels. We prepaid, so it was none of our concern what his feelings were with our rate.
We argued back and forth. At least five men from the hotel were there staring us down. He claimed we were trying to get something for nothing. We were willing to pay something extra for the cot, but not 30 euro extra per night. He had the nerve to insult us by saying that we were trying to pull a fast one, that maybe we should've stayed at a hostel. WHAT? Our was composed of a journalist two lawyers; we were simply trying to get a crumb of customer service.
It's shocking that an American company would not teach all of the employees working under its banner about how to treat guests.
We finally worked out with the manager the next day (he was out the night we checked in) to pay 15 extra euros a night, which was a joke, considering the extra twin bed they brought took up nearly all the available walking space.
Luckily we were booked at the Ritz-Carlton the following two nights. Needless to say, they had no problem bringing us an extra bed. AND it didn't really cost that much more to stay there.
Skip the Best Western Empire Palace and spend your money where they will appreciate your business.
We Loved IT
My wife and I stayed in the hotel whose location was very convenient where we could walk to most historical places located in the Sultan Ahment area. The taxi charges were very reasonable for transportation between the hotel and areas like Taksim Square. Te Hotel Staff was extremely helpful and kind, and they kept giving us advice on how to avoid hustlers, taxi overcharging prices, how to get to places using cheapter transportations such as trains, Mini Busses, etc. they even did not charge us for hot drinks like tea most of the time we stayed in the hotel. The rooms were great, clean and had nice furniture ( exactly like the ones posted in their web site). However, the hotel did not have much of a view except for the top floor where we had our breakfast.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that both Hotel Staff was more than
EXCELLENT and they tried their best to make our staying as pleasant as possible.